Denver's oldest and most treasured block
Larimer Square - Denver, Colorado
This collection of historic buildings was Denver’s Gold Rush era Main Street, and served as the center of the city’s economic and cultural revolution. Since the 1970s, local preservation efforts have helped transform Larimer Square into one of Denver’s most iconic attractions. Jeff Hermanson’s 1993 purchase of the Square marked the reshaping of the district as a haven for small businesses—from chef-owned and operated restaurants to independent boutiques. By 2015, however, the block suffered from deferred maintenance, diminishing sales and leasing activity, and was in need of a meaningful repositioning plan.
Our immediate efforts involved creating an exit strategy and preparing the property for sale. We leveraged our extensive knowledge of the asset, closed the street, refreshed the branding, honed management practices, recruited new tenants, and activated the area. Larimer Square not only survived, but flourished during the COVID-19 pandemic with rent adjustments and al fresco events that attracted local residents. Despite the economic hardship, this entrepreneurial repositioning plan ultimately resulted in the sale of the property in December 2020, at a price nearly double the perceived value three years earlier.
Gross Square Feet: 245,000
Retail: 142,000 Office: 103,000
Historic (1875-1900): 23 Modern (1970 and later): 4
2015 – 2020
Our boutique approach to crafting a dynamic and vibrant experience included renovating physical aspects of the property, refreshing the marketing and brand positioning, creating recurring events and programs, and proactively seeking out innovative retail and F&B tenants. One example is Garage Sale, a funky store featuring vinyl records and hand-made clothing and accessories produced by local artisans. Another is a small flower shop led by a young entrepreneur we mentored. Events such as the Chalk art Festival, Slow Food Nations celebrations, and various pop-ups captivated the community.
Our rooftop farm, constructed with specialists in our affiliate company, Bio-Logical Capital, became an oasis that reconnected the public with nature. Over 60 different varietals of fruits and vegetables reshaped a parking lot into a destination for weddings and dozens of community events.
In the summer of 2020, we donated over 1,000 pounds of produce to local food banks. These urban landscaping efforts also reduced water use by more than 70% (30,000 gallons) and carbon emissions by 88%, with a complete eradication of pesticides and chemical fertilizers.